You may not know this, but Calgary has a booming food scene. The third largest city in Canada, Calgary has a population of over 1 million, and offers a variety of activities from shopping to museums, festivals to sporting events. The city attracts over 4.2 million visitors a year. One of the main draws to Calgary is its food scene, which has slowly been gaining an international reputation. Within Calgary’s downtown area alone, there are over 200 restaurants and dining spots to choose from!
LeafCanoer, migrantmuse, recently shared their tips on the Calgary food scene in their leaf titled, “Calgary’s Foodie Guide.” For a taste of what the city has to offer, here’s a food lover’s guide to experiencing foodie Calgary.
Have a drink
If you’re looking to just whet your appetite, why not begin with a drink? Calgary offers plenty of drink options, both in the non-alcoholic and alcoholic variety. For a daytime drink, there’s Cru Juice, a juice store that sells cold-pressed raw juice. Another popular place is Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar, which offers high end coffee, as well as wine options. Some of the best places to find cocktails in Calgary are Model Milk, where you’ll find unique cocktails mixed with fresh juices and liqueurs, and the Oak Room, which is an old-school style Calgary bar offering weekly live jazz.
Explore the Beltline
When you’re ready for a meal, head over to the Beltline, Calgary’s main restaurant area. Here, you’ll find places like Corbeaux Bakehouse, which offers French-inspired food, coffee, and pastries, as well as fresh-baked breads. Another restaurant worth visiting is Parc, which also offers French cuisine. This traditional style bistro has a nice selection of charcuteries as well as classic French dishes like steak frites. For more tavern-style dining, head over to Local 510. This is also a great place to hear live music.
Locally sourced food has been growing in popularity in recent years, as restaurants and diners become more conscious about the environmental impact of their food. In Calgary, there are a number of restaurants that source their food and supplies locally. The Coup, which offers vegetarian cuisine, uses organic and local ingredients, and makes many of their dishes from scratch. The Beltliner also sources their ingredients locally, and offers a modern interpretation of classic diner food. In addition, Vero Bistro Moderne uses local producers and suppliers to create unique and creative variations of French and Italian cuisine.
One of the benefits of Calgary being the third largest city in Canada is its global influences. Here, you can find cuisine from all corners of the world, from Asia to Europe. A popular place for pho, the classic Vietnamese noodle soup, is Golden Bell Saigon. And for Hong Kong-style food, many locals head to Calgary Court. Other popular international restaurants include The Himalayan, offering Nepali cuisine; Las Canaria, a casual dining establishment offering Spanish tapas; and Café Momoko, which focuses on Japanese cuisine.
Go for comfort
If you’re more in the mood for comfort food, there are also plenty of options. LeafCanoer, migrantmuse, recommends 4th spot, which serves classic meals like burgers, tacos, and pastas. For pizza, many visitors to Calgary recommend Gaga Pizzeria, which offers fresh-baked pizzas, as well as homemade soups and sandwiches. For breakfast, a popular spot is OEB Breakfast Company, which has a variety of healthful and flavorful breakfast selections.
Go high end
On the other end of the spectrum, Calgary has a large selection of critically acclaimed high end restaurants. Some of the top restaurants in the city, according to Calgary’s premier lifestyle magazine, Avenue Magazine, are Blink, Raw Bar, and River Café. Blink offers French-influenced cuisine, while Raw Bar serves Vietnamese-inspired dishes with a modern and creative twist. River Café, located in Prince’s Island Park, focuses on providing a unique dining experience in a unique setting. They offer a chef-created six-course tasting menu.
Whether you’re looking to explore the local cuisine, or are in the mood to expand your palate globally, there is something for every taste bud in Calgary. This guide to foodie Calgary is just the beginning. For more information on some of these places to eat, check out migrantmuse’s leaf by downloading the LeafCanoe app.